Africa’s intra-trade at only 14 per cent: //Hoebes

11 Oct 2018 17:10pm
SWAKOPMUND, 11 OCT (NAMPA) – Africa’s intra-trade amounts to only 14 per cent, whereas it is more comfortable to trade with foreign and international markets at an amount of 86 per cent of total trade per year.
These statistics were revealed by Deputy Minister of International Relations and Cooperation Christine //Hoebes during the official opening of the Swakopmund International Trade Exposition (SWAITEX) here on Wednesday.
Some of the reasons for the low level investment according to her include the poor coordination across the different trading blocs, diverse currencies and mistrust, among other factors.
“If we are serious with joining and remaining on the development trajectory, then there is an urgent need to work on confidence building mechanisms and establish infrastructure such as rail, road and telecommunications networks as well as information communication technology,” //Hoebes stated.
She stressed that overcoming these hurdles and challenges will spur industrial development and strengthen intra-continental trade.
“This will not only create jobs but it will also have the added advantage of diversifying Africa’s economies that are largely dependent on raw materials.”
//Hoebes added that smaller African countries such as Namibia will no longer be restricted to producing their traditional products and that with better policies and human resources, they can become the locus of new manufacturing operations that would serve wider markets.
“By creating a single economic space with harmonised trade policies and a regulatory framework, the Continental Free Trade Agreement could address the problem of multiple memberships, rationalise trade negotiations and above all, ease movement of goods and people,” she noted.
//Hoebes commented that trade fairs and expos, particularly the SWAITEX have an important role to play in the marketing of the country’s products and in presenting the market to traders.
“The Government of Namibia therefore supports these events because of the value, which such fairs add to our efforts towards increasing local production, import substitution and increased local economic development.”
Over the past six years, SWAITEX has hosted exhibitors over a wide spectra comprising of the mining, finance, tourism, transport and logistics, energy and more industries at both large and small and medium enterprises.